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Healy hits stunning winner as Craughwell celebrate

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Craughwell's Niall Callanan comes under strong pressure from St.Thomas' Conor Cooney during Sunday's senior hurling semi-final at Kenny Park. Photo: Enda Noone.

CRAUGHWELL 1-20

St. THOMAS’ 0-22

A GREY day in fading October this might have been, but for the village of Craughwell it gushed with colour as their senior hurlers battled their way to a first county final appearance since 1932 after an epic semi-final victory over St. Thomas’ at Kenny Park on Sunday.

This was a high tempo clash between two teams hitting the peak of their seasonal endeavours but just when it seemed that another gallant Craughwell effort was about to fall short, from somewhere, they tapped into a well of spirit and heart that just saw them over the line.

The tone for the match was set in the opening three minutes of frenetic action that produced five points from play as both sides displayed an admirable crispness of stickwork and a lightning pace off the mark.

Three minutes prior to referee Christy Browne sounding the interval whistle, when Niall Healy took a ball from Gerard Halloran before knifing his way through the St. Thomas’ defence to fire home the only goal of the match, many surmised that this would be the deciding score of the day.

Maybe in the end it was, but a lot of water had to flow under the bridge before that score was to eventually separate the sides, and as the third quarter of the game came to an end, St. Thomas’ looked to have the door well ajar on their way to a county final appearance.

John Burke’s side had put together a real productive period of hurling in first half injury time and in the opening 10 minutes of the second half — this was St. Thomas’ at their best: powerful on the ball and unerringly accurate at the scoring end of the pitch.

As the game ticked into first half injury time, they trailed Craughwell by 1-9 to 0-9 but five minutes into the second half, the outcome had been transformed inexorably . . . or so it seemed . . . as St. Thomas’ led by 0-17 to 1-9.

In first half injury time, St. Thomas’ centre back Darragh Burke converted a mammoth free while just before the interval whistle sounded, Richie Murray improvised quite smartly in a tight space to scoop the sliotar over the bar.

Those scores left the losers trailing by just one point at the break on a 1-9 to 0-11 scoreline but what followed in the opening minutes of the second half must have left Craughwell in something of a daze.

Within 30 seconds of the restart, Conor Cooney — coming back to his best form after an awful run of injuries — whipped over a 60 yard point and then landed a free with radar precision

The barrage on the Craughwell goal remained incessant for the following 10 minutes. The lively Bernard Burke pointed from play as did Kenneth Burke and sub Anthony Kelly while Cooney chipped in with another neat effort from play.  At 0-17 to 1-9 for St. Thomas’, this looked like a done deal.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

United boss Caulfield not happy with recent decisions going against his team

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Galway United manager John Caulfield: seeking a fairer deal from officials.

JOHN Caulfield has called for better officiating in games as the title race enters its final run-in, saying his side has been the victim of some marginal decisions in games against the top sides this season.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Bray Wanderers to Eamonn Deacy Park this Friday (7.45pm), the United manager said the big decisions in games against the other sides in the top three – Cork City and Waterford – have gone against United this season, and he says the repercussions of those ‘bad’ decisions are only felt by the managers and players.

“It is disappointing, there have been a number of decision in big games that have gone against us, I suppose you could call them controversial, tight decisions,” he said in the aftermath of last Friday’s 2-1 defeat away to Waterford FC, in which Conor McCormack was sent off, and Waterford were awarded two penalties, the second of which they converted nine minutes from time for a 2-1 win.

“You need strong decisions being made and we had two big decisions, major decisions, go against us. Unfortunately, it is the manager that take the hits rather than action being taken in the proper channels and that is disappointing,” he said.

He has a point to a degree: Wilson Waweru was sent off in United’s first game of the season when picking up two yellow cards in the 1-0 win away to Cork City, with the second booking in particular looking unfair on the United man.

Another trip to Turners Cross in July saw another red card, with Ed McCarthy getting his marching orders in the 16th minute for a trip on Cian Bargary, who was breaking on a counter-attack. Despite the foul taking place inside the City half, and both Conor O’Keeffe and Conor McCormack covering inside, Wexford referee Sean Grant decided on a red card.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Moycullen lift the tempo on resumption in forging clear

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Moycullen's Owen Gallagher comes under pressure from Eric Lee of Oughterard during Sunday's Senior Football Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Moycullen 1-17

Oughterard 0-14

Eanna O’Reilly at Pearse Stadium

MOYCULLEN recorded their second win of the senior championship on Sunday against local rivals Oughterard at Pearse Stadium, with a powerful spell after half time seeing them pull away decisively.

After a competitive first half finished with the sides tied at 0-7 apiece, few would have expected such a clear margin between them at the conclusion. However, the 2020 champions simply blitzed their opponents after the interval, scoring an unanswered 1-6 to take control of the contest.

Oughterard were much improved from their opening round defeat to Corofin, matching Moycullen throughout the first half and playing a much more positive brand of football. Once their opponents went into top gear after half time however, Alan Murphy’s side were thoroughly outclassed.

Oughterard had a goal chance inside the opening minute, when Enda Tierney was put through, only to blast narrowly over the bar. Moycullen responded with three consecutive points, coming from Conor Bohan, Owen Gallagher, and Dessie Conneely, all of which were high quality scores.

The contest soon swung in the opposite direction, with Oughterard dominating the next ten minutes. Ryan Monaghan got their second point, when he made a strong run from the left wing and hand-passed over. Cian Monaghan and Niall Lee added points in a two minute spell, to put Oughterard back in front by the 16th minute.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

United contribute to their own downfall against Waterford

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Galway United’s Conor McCormack whose second half dismissal contributed to their First Division defeat against Waterford FC in the RSC on Friday night.

Waterford FC 2

Galway United 1

IT was a calamitous night for Galway United in the RSC on Friday, with John Caulfield’s side slipping to a deserved defeat on a night two key players – Conor McCormack and Stephen Walsh – both picked up suspensions.

Crucially, however, while they were fully punished in terms of the game, their title challenge is still very much alive after league leaders Cork City fell to a shock defeat at home to Treaty United on Friday, and followed it up with a scoreless draw at home to Waterford in a refixed game on Monday night.

That leaves the Leesiders four points ahead of United – and seven clear of a Waterford side that might just have snuck back into the title race – with seven games remaining, so while there is huge frustration at both United’s display on Friday, and the failure to capitalise on the slip-up by City, the title race is still very much alive.

It was all so different in the 12th minute of Friday’s game when, just as word had filtered through that Treaty United had taken a shock lead against Cork City, United hit the front with yet another goal from Stephen Walsh.

Walsh – who many forget started life at United as a striker way back in 2010 – got on the end of a Rob Manley flick from an Ed McCarthy cross to fire home his 16th goal of the season from close range, and at that stage, all seemed right with the world.

It had been coming, as United had their hosts pinned inside their own half for those opening 12 minutes of play, but the tone of the night soon changed.

The goal proved too much for some in the away section of the ground: one United fan ran onto the running track surrounding the pitch in an attempt to join Walsh in on the goal celebrations, and was promptly ejected from the ground.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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